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All The Fine Realms

Ratings:
574 pages9 hours

Summary

Join Charles, son of King Pepin, his wives (he has five of them – one at a time,) and his friends and their wives on a great adventure as they sweep across Europe in the late 8th and early 9th century, gradually binding many small realms into one fine country, until the pope crowns Charles as Holy Roman Emperor and chroniclers begin to call him Charles the Great (Charlemagne.)

As a young girl, Elza, daughter of Count Frambert, swears lifelong friendship to Charles, and never falters in her loyalty. Her father marries her off to Martin, who loves another woman. After years of unhappiness, after Martin is killed in battle, Elza marries a good friend, Balarat, and finds contentment with him. But her children are still capable of causing grief and they do, as Charles tightens his control over Francia and a few people rebel, including one of Charles’s own sons.

Over the years Elza makes friends, among them the great scholar, Alcuin, and Charles’s sister, Gisela, also the warm-hearted Basina, who leads a difficult life as Elza’s stepmother before finding happiness in the arms of the most unlikely man in all of Francia.

Meanwhile, Count Hainmar, the man in charge of procuring supplies for the Frankish army, swears to have deadly revenge on Elza’s brutal father for what he did to the girl Hainmar once loved. Life is never dull in Francia as all of these strong-minded people work out their various destinies while Elza watches, listens, and learns. A sweeping historical saga.

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